Tuesday, November 13, 2018
Neither the sun nor the stars were visible for many days, and no small storm raged. Finally, all hope of our surviving was taken away.
We Catholic’s are blessed for we are still in the boat (church) with Paul and no matter what the storms and we are totally lost and there is no hope of surviving; we still have the Lord with us. Paul goes on during this voyage to encourage the others to eat. Paul breaks bread and emboldens these lost men. When Christians flounder in the storm of life we should recall Jesus’ assurance of protection. The Eucharist gives us courage in our trials.
How to Finish Well
By God’s grace we all hope to finish well.
1. Don’t lose sight of the big picture (entire situation), especially when you are young.
2. Do what is right before it is too late to correct yourself.
3. Use your words like tools to shepherd and add value to others.
4. Don’t try to master everthing in life, just what is important.
5. Trust and obey God, because He is the ultimate judge.
Hopeful in Prison
Father Paul Wolff was 15 years old when he first joined the Belgium resistance during the years of the Nazi occupation of World War II. He was the youngest member of the Belgium resistance. Unfortunately, he and other members of his group were captured and at 17 he was tortured, condemned to death and imprison in the Nazi Prison in Liege, Belgium. There he languished yet his faith would not allow him to lose all hope and the resistance still worked to get him and the others (256) out.
Part of the plan was to get a radio to the prisoners. To do this the resistance secreted small parts of the crystal radio inside bars of soap. Interestingly these were lever brother bars of soap large about brick sized. Father Paul related that during the Nazi occupation not all Jews were in German prisons if they were of use to the Nazi’s. In this case the soap bars were made by the Lever Jews and the radio parts were easily hidden inside the soap bars. Father Paul stated that when they received the soap, they then washed their hands raw in wearing away the soap to get to the radio part. Then after several bars they constructed the radio which was the Morse code type. Father Paul typed in code in English which he spoke along with German and French the words over and over “SOS SOS 256 prisoners in Liege prison condemned to death SOS SOS.” They hoped someone would get the message and somehow, they would be rescued. All they had was hope.
Father also related that it drove the Nazi’s crazy because they intercepted the message but never suspected it was coming from the prison. Father Paul said that in the cell they were in there was only one barred window, but it was so high that to look out it required a person to stand on the shoulders of a fellow prisoner. He further relayed that they when they would see women that were friendly with the guards coming and going, they would call them the nastiest things they could think of calling them. Yet one day during an air raid while the guards were hiding as deep as they could go; one of these young women (secret agent) came and taking the heel of her shoe wrote on the pavement that during the air raid they are going to be rescued by commandoes and they were. Father Paul stated neither he nor the others ever lost hope.
“We are an Easter people, and ‘Alleluia’ is our song!”
These words are attributed to St. John Paul II during an address at a black parish in Harlem in 1979, and again before leading the congregation in the Angelus at a Mass in Adelaide, Australia, in 1986. However, the Pope was paraphrasing a quote from St. Augustine of Hippo, some 1,500 years before: “We are a resurrection people, and our song is ‘Alleluia’.” If you don’t hear or read these words again this Easter, you probably will next year. If nothing else separates the post-Vatican II Catholic from the traditionalist, it’s the trope of “the resurrection people”. I’m not trying to import what’s been called the “hermeneutic of rupture”, the belief that the Second Vatican Council changed the DNA of the Catholic Church or the substance of Catholic dogma. However, it’s not an exaggeration to say that the Council created, or at least promoted, a different style — a different perspective from which to view our doctrine and expound it. And the “resurrection people” trope is a key to that difference. Error usually begins with the emphasis of one doctrine, or a collection of related doctrines, over the rest. For instance, had Martin Luther truly understood what St. Paul meant by works, he might have ended his days still an Augustinian priest in communion with the Church. Far be it from me to suggest that either Ss. John Paul or Augustine were in error by saying “we are a resurrection people”; for both men were well-versed in the evangelium. However, the saying can be easily misunderstood. For it would be just as true, if not more, to say we are the “people of the crucifixion”.
For our goal is to follow him where he leads us for Christ is stronger than life or death!
The Way Purity
"Read these counsels slowly. Pause to meditate on these thoughts. They are things that I whisper in your ear-confiding them-as a friend, as a brother, as a father. And they are being heard by God. I won't tell you anything new. I will only stir your memory, so that some thought will arise and strike you; and so you will better your life and set out along ways of prayer and of Love. And in the end you will be a more worthy soul."
111. What a wretched man am I! Who will rescue me from this body doomed to death?' The cry is Saint Paul's. — Courage: he too had to fight.
The Collegeville Bible Commentary
John Maxwell, The Maxwell Leadership Bible.
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